A large tree branch had fallen in my front yard, partially blocking the sidewalk and street in front of my house. I pulled my car into the driveway, placed my head in my hands, and took a deep breath. It was time for the tree to come down. The shady and beautiful twenty-four inch diameter hackberry tree had reached the end of it’s life, and had become too brittle to safely withstand the winds of a Texas thunderstorm.
As I crept closer to inspect the damage, I noticed a tiny sapling growing at the base of the hackberry. A tiny sapling bearing the distinct leaves of a red oak tree. An acorn from my neighbor’s tree must have taken root here. When the workers came to remove the old dying tree, they kindly took care not to disturb the little volunteer, and today, less than three years later, it is almost taller than me.
It occurs to me that in some ways, this story of cutting down an old tree and nurturing a new sapling is a metaphor for the events happening in my own life. It’s a story of letting go and adapting to change. It is a lesson in resiliency, and a reminder of hope.
It’s this spirit of resiliency and hope that propels my work – creating a better built environment that can withstand the changes and storms ahead.